Warning, comedy nerds and enthusiasts! This story definitely has Spoilers! Sacha Baron Cohen, no stranger to controversy or instigation, strikes a dark humored jab against Donald Trump. The prankster comedian's latest film, The Brothers Grimsby, has a scene where Trump is accidentally infected with HIV. Another famous actor with legions of fans is also the brunt of the HIV joke. I'll leave that to be discovered by audiences, but the leak of the Donald Trump bit has certainly kicked up a fuss online. Cohen has been quite open about his dislike for the US presidential candidate. Calling him a 'demagogue' in recent interviews. It shouldn't have been a surprise to Sony executives that Trump, who has a penchant for suing his detractors, would be a target for Cohen.
The Brothers Grimsby is an action comedy starring Sacha Baron Cohen and Mark Strong. The plot is about a townie, on the dole bloke with eleven children, and a manic love for English football; finding his long lost younger brother (Strong). The surprise is that his brother is an elite MI6 agent. The pair's reunion has calamitous results that lead them on a globe trotting mission to save a beautiful philanthropist (Penélope Cruz).
As part of Movieweb's coverage of The Brothers Grimsby, I was allowed to see the film earlier this week. We will also be posting an exclusive interview next week with Sacha Baron Cohen in character as Nobby, the protagonist of The Brothers Grimsby. The film is incredibly raunchy, but knockdown hilarious. It is exactly what you would expect from the creator of Borat, Ali G, and Bruno; no holds barred with gags that obliterate the limit of common decency.
The scene where Donald Trump contracts HIV is spectacularly offensive, but riotously funny. It's part of an even more outrageous religion and disabled children joke that runs throughout the film. The Trump scene is meant to court controversy, the specialty of Mr. Cohen. The test audience that I saw The Brothers Grimsby with howled and applauded during the bit. I'll assume the reaction will vary depending on the political support of Donald Trump. It is mean-spirited, but as stated earlier, another star gets the same treatment. Cohen is just stirring up the pot, which he artistically has a right to do, no matter how offensive. It is important to note that there is a disclaimer that Donald Trump took no part in the film whatsoever.
Several newspapers are reporting that Sony has some concern regarding how this will play out. We have seen no issue whatsoever with Sony promoting the film. They definitely weren't afraid to show The Brothers Grimsby to the press or early audiences. Maybe it's a part of a strategy to see if Trump reacts to Cohen's treatment of him. I have a distinct feeling Cohen is just waiting for Trump to attack him. That would be publicity gold for the film. That scene is just one part of many that will have you squirming. It may not be for all audiences, but fans of Cohen will be delighted. I thought the film was tremendously entertaining in its low brow humor. We'll see if this controversy has any affect on the box office. Stay tuned for our interview with Sacha Baron Cohen, in full character, next week.